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NPA chief: CPE vision is ‘starting point, not limit’ of what pharmacy can do


NPA chief: CPE vision is ‘starting point, not limit’ of what pharmacy can do

By Neil Trainis

The National Pharmacy Association’s chief executive Mark Lyonette has welcomed Community Pharmacy England’s 10-year vision for the sector as “a useful steer for long-term planning” but insisted it was “a starting point, not the limit” of what pharmacies can do for patients and the NHS.

Lyonette (pictured) described a report on the vision, produced by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust which outlines how better investment and support from the government can expand the role of community pharmacies in primary care over the next decade, as “thorough” and suggested it will “resonate with most pharmacy contractors and stakeholders.”

However, he said much of the change that is required for community pharmacy to make bigger strides and overcome old barriers, as highlighted by the report, needed to be driven through integrated care systems whose boards, the vision suggested, needed more resources and time to support independent pharmacies.

“This is an important unifying vision for the future of community pharmacy in England,” Lyonette said. “We agree with its basic premise that integrated clinical and public health services should be further developed whilst also maintaining a core role in the medicines supply chain.”

He added: “With the expansion of independent prescribing in community pharmacy and the growing burden of long-term conditions, there is an opportunity for community pharmacy practice to develop much further in the years ahead.

“The authors’ aim that the ambitions set out should be achievable by most contractors is right in principle, so long as there is space and support for those wanting to push the boundaries of clinical practice.

“Innovation will need to be driven through local integrated care systems, not only the national contractual framework.”

Lynonette said the report was largely “consistent with changes” that have recently been proposed by the NPA, Company Chemists’ Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

“This broad consensus can only be helpful, as we will all be pulling in the same direction,” he said.

EPB chair: Vision 'sets out roadmap to maximise pharmacy’s role'

The chair of the English Pharmacy Board Tase Oputu also welcomed the report, insisting it “sets out a roadmap for the government and the NHS to help maximise community pharmacy’s role to support patient care.”

“Throughout our work with The King’s Fund last year, we consistently heard from health and care leaders how community pharmacy has a fundamental part to play in the health service of the future. Today’s report is a welcome addition to this conversation,” she said.

Oputu said the “key enablers” to ensuring the vision’s ambitions are realised included workforce planning “to ensure a pipeline of pharmacists for the future,” maximising the skills of everyone in pharmacy teams and “much-needed” funding for IT and interoperable patient records.

“It is vital that pharmacist and pharmacy teams are now supported across the system to help make the most of community pharmacy’s potential, delivering more integrated care and developing new services to reduce health inequalities and continue making a difference for patients,” she said.


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